Sunday, January 10, 2016

Compassionate Clowning : Silly Smiles Take You Miles

The tagline of my blog says, Silly Smiles take you Miles... it's wonderful to live your saying, your belief and perceive it in real. It's actually inexplicable how you feel when your words become alive with their real meaning and make you dance to their tune. 

Since my childhood, I had always been fascinated by Clowns. When we used to play cards, I always used to wonder why the joker is always left out. I used to feel very bad for that Joker card being sequestered and instead used to keep it in my deck. Whenever there was a circus show in the town, I was all excited not to see the lions and elephants dancing but the clown juggling the balls and deliberately making fall his red nose or colorful curls instilling laughter in the air. I always thought how difficult it is to make someone else laugh, to make them forget about their pain and misery and soak them in the wave of joy and laughter. This very thought always provoked me and apparently brimmed in the form of my maiden poem Spreading Smiles.

I had never thought that the joker so much playful in my subconscious mind will attract me to play its role one day. These lines are popping up in my mind from James Allen's , "As a Man Thinketh",

Mind is the Master power that moulds and makes,
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills: —
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass:
Environment is but his looking-glass.

So, I became a clown. Yes, I did. I dissolved my identity to embark on the journey of spreading love and happiness. And the first lesson I learnt was to be compassionate. Yes, in the world where we are all confined to our tiny cubicles unaware of the person sitting at our backside but communicating to unseen souls through social media, are we compassionate enough to hear the sob of the person sitting beside us. Have we ever noticed why the person who was coming regularly, occupying the seat next to us has suddenly stopped coming. Do we ever bother to ask a person how he is doing after a long sick leave. Are we really compassionate or we have forgotten what being compassionate means.

I became a Clown, not just a clown but a compassionate clown to heal the tiny souls undergoing excruciating pain with a little love and happiness. As my doctor friend says, "laughter helps in fighting stress. It reduces pain by releasing endorphins (the body's natural painkiller), boosts the immune system by increasing the level of T cells & lowering serum cortisol levels, thereby promoting a positive outlook. Laughter helps people to cope with difficult situations and create loving and helpful bonds which aids the healing process."

Compassionate Clowning is an initiative taken up by compassionate clowns to visit hospitals and help the doctors and patients in their battle with their sword of laughter fighting away the pain and distress. Compassionate Clowns is a group of volunteers where anybody and everybody is welcomed with warmth and love. The volunteers gather every weekend in different cities and visit the nearby hospitals to infuse the air of ailing pain with refreshing laughter and happiness. This clowning activity is carried out in different cities of India like Bangalore, Ahmedabad, Rajkot. You can easily connect with the nearest clowning group at their facebook page and volunteer for the noble cause -https://www.facebook.com/CompassionateClown

I took the new year resolution to be more compassionate and became the clown with a red nose and pink cheeks at Gujarat Cancer Society Hospital, Ahmedabad. The clowns are regularly visiting the children suffering from cancer being treated at this hospital. Every saturday it seems as if the entire children ward awaits their arrival. From parents to doctors to hospital staff to the anxiously waiting tiny tots.

There's nothing more contagious than the laughter of young toons. 
As the clowns dress up, paint their faces, the passing-by patients and visitors curiously look at us for being so colorful and vibrant at a morbid place. And we greet them with our vivacious smiles and joy.
Clowns with the Hospital Staff
As this was my first time being a clown, we started off with painting our faces red and yellow. Then we made a circle holding hands to share the positive vibes amongst ourselves and take the oath to spread it forward with everybody we come in contact with.

Clowns taking the pledge
I was the engine of this session. Yeah, the chhuk chhuk gadi engine ;) We entered the children ward like a vibrant colorful train. The children resting in their beds woke up and smiled. So, finally the jokers are here. We were late by half an hour and one child was very angry. See the receptivity of the child for warmth and happiness that he refrains to wait by even a few minutes.

Why are you late today?? Can't you see me waiting for you with this mickey specs?
The clowns are in action now. They have dissolved their identity of a student, of a job seeker, of a tired professional. They are just the clowns saying sorry to the little child by dancing to his favourite song.
Acchi Nani, Pyaari Nani, Maan jao na ;)
As it was the new year, so we had carried new year hand-made cards for all the children wishing them a bright and healthy new year. We chatted with them like our own siblings and asked them to write down their goals. "What would you like to be??" See, we are giving them a hope to achieve their dreams irrespective of the disease they are suffering. If you wish you can, then you surely can!

Happy New Year Princess!
We blew balloons, we sang with the children, we told them stories, we chit-chat with them. They love us as clowns and we love them more and more. Some children are very naughty. Afterall how can one disease take away their innocence and we make sure that never happens. 
Inky Pinky Ponky
The little energy packets energized us more than we had expected. They make us the child again and take us back to our golden days. They forget about their pain and get lost in our stories and magic tricks. 


And when you find a cute child dreaming to be SRK, the clown teaches him how to be SRK. And the entire ward becomes a movie theatre with dialogues of SRK, Bacchhan, Kapoor falling around.

Click me fast! I'm the new SRK ;)
The doctors also find it refreshing to laugh heartily and enjoy with their little patients. They always say, "I pray this child lives his dream of being a pilot."
Dr. Uncle! See my mustache, I have grown up now :P
More surprisingly, its the parents who participate in the games and feel joyful. They enjoy us as clowns and we enjoy seeing them laughing and cuddling with their kids in all joy and happiness.
A happy Tigress mum with the SherKhan :)
As we leave for the day, we share our experiences with each other and there's always a lesson learnt. We always complain of trivial things, of being deprived of this and that. But as we see the little guns fighting against all odds, we are charged up. One clown said it so rightly, "I dont come here to make them happy. I come here because they make me happy. "

All colorful Clowns:)

This is all possible with the energy of togetherness. No one clown has the strength to go alone inside the room full of pain and agony. Sometimes we too break down on seeing our brothers/sisters in such tormenting pain. But together we vibrate in symphony and blow the breeze of triumphant happiness.

We are a Happy Family :)

Smiles are contagious and we are its brand ambassadors. We spread it, gather it, spread it more and blow it around creating a peaceful happy aura. We believe in making people happy together. We are #SpreadTheVibe. Come, join us in spreading this vibe all across.

Clowns in Caps!

Öbrìgadò!
JJJ
 
This post is written for #SpreadTheVibe by youthkiawaaz

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Book Review : The Bestseller She Wrote



About the Book
Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Publisher: Westland ltd. 
ISBN: 978-93-85152-38-2
No. of Pages: 391
Price: 295 INR
Genre: Romantic Fiction
  
About the Author
Ravi Subramanian, an alumnus of IIM Bengaluru, has spent two decades working his way up the ladder of power in the amazingly exciting and adrenaline-pumping world of global banks in India. Four of Ravi’s seven bestselling titles have been award winners. If God Was a Banker, won the Golden Quill Reader’s Choice Award. He won the Economist Crossword Book Award in 2012 for The Incredible Banker, The Crossword Book Award in 2013 for The Bankster and more recently in 2014 for his thriller Bankerupt. For Ravi, The Bestseller She Wrote, marks the beginning of a new chapter in his writing. A significant departure from his usual fare, this is Ravi’s first book on romantic intrigue.  

He lives in Mumbai with his wife Dharini, and daughter, Anusha. To know more about Ravi visit www.ravisubramanian.in or email him at info@ravisubramanian.in
  
You can connect with Ravi through following handles: 
 1.    Ravi Subramanian’s Website: www.Authorravis.com
3.   Twitter: @subramanianravi
4.   Instagram: Ravi Subramanian on Instagram
5.   Blog: www.Authorravi.com
6.   App - Ravi Subramanian App



The Cover Speaks
The mustard hued paperback appears pleasant to the eyes. With a girl and a spectacle-adorned boy postured back to back with the book fanning its pages sets up a nice illustration. The tag line “Love, Betrayal, Redemption…Soon to be a Motion Picture” got me a little confused. It leaves an impression as if this story is also knocking at the door of Bollywood and soon we will be sitting in front of the big screen, munching the popcorns to find out what masala has been put in the original story plot. Well, after reading the novel, my confusion wafted in the air.

Synopsis

Paperback king Aditya Kapoor’s life was straight out of modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turns to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak.

Shreya Kaushik is a student with heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author.

What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protégé.

The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

Book Review
When an author is a banker and all his novels carry a glimpse of his profession, an overwhelming ride full of thrill and exhilaration. He might like to experiment with his pen and put it to a test. Ravi also tried his hands on the most written and talked upon genre – love/romance popular in the market with readers of all age groups. Let’s find out whether he was able to sink the reader in his ocean of love or they found it the already-read-so-many-times story.

The protagonist of the story Aditya, is a successful banker as well as a best-selling author. At the prima-facie, it appears he is living a picture-perfect life with stardom on one side and a loving wife on the other. But as they say, nothing is perfect. And a young beauty with brains knocks in the starry life of Aditya. With God Eros standing behind, Aditya cannot stop himself from going weak and falls for the girl Shreya, a student of IIM-B who dreams of being a successful author like him. 

The story paces with some romantic development in the plot and melodrama too. After watching so many Indian soaps and Bollywood films, it becomes easy for a reader to guess the next scene in the queue. At many points this happens and you are aware of what is next in the few pages. It also references to real world personas like Chetan Bhagat, Ashwin Sanghi, Anurag Kashyap which I found a bit sarcastic. 

Though the author tried well to keep the readers engrossed and present a thrilling climax but with his previous works, he has made readers expect much more than this. Aditya's wife discovers of his affairs and his life turns upside town. To exacerbate it, the print media plays a role in tarnishing his image by exposing him. Who is behind this foul play? Is it Shreya's way of catching the eyes? Will it help her in becoming a best seller? These questions certainly pop-up while reading the books. So read it and find out what happens next. 

You can grab a copy of this book at Amazon or Flipkart .

My Rating
 3/5


Öbrìgadò!
JJJ

   
I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!
Silly smiles Take you Miles.